4 foreigners nabbed for stealing cash from ATMs

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 4, 2017-

Four foreigners were nabbed on Sunday on the charge of misusing ATM cards of several foreigners to steal money from their accounts.

The withdrawn Nepali currency would be converted into international currencies by the fraudsters. The Central Investigation Bureau, making the arrestees public on Monday, said the four Moldovian nationals were arrested along with the devices to clone the cards before using them on cash machines inside Kathmandu Valley.

The CIB identified the arrestees as Nicu Deordija PA, 26, with passport (PP) number AA1018367; Alex aka Vasile Fetescu PA, 34, with PP number AA1113676; Iurie Dermenji PA, 32, with PP number B0880204; and Eugeniu Deorija PA, 36, with PP number AA1112851.

The CIB carried out the investigation following complaint from the Nepal Investment Bank on suspicious transactions. Based on the close-circuit camera footage made available by the bank, police had been following Iurie for quite some time. On April 2, Iurie entered into the ATM booth of Global IME Bank at Kantipath and headed towards Hotel Nepalaya from where the other three foreigners were arrested.

According to Superintendent of Police Mira Chaudhary, they recovered more than Rs700,000 and over $1,000 along with 495 ATM cards and card skimming devices.

In the last three years, the CIB has arrested at least 15 foreigners for tampering with ATM cards and machines. They include four Molodvians, four Romanians, three Turks and two Bulgarians and two Indians, according to the bureau.

The CIB often launches investigations whenever victimised individuals and banks lodge complaints about fraud or suspicious transactions.

Police believe that sophisticated hackers attach devices like hidden cameras or fake ATM keypads to the cash machines to skim pin numbers. They would then use the data to clone the cards. They have seized a laptop, mini magnetic strip reader/writer and numerous ATM cards from the hackers. Amid the growing security threats, the banks have been constantly urging customers to change their pin numbers at regular intervals while keeping tabs on any suspicious interactions at ATM booths.

From eight operations on ATM fraud, the CIB has recovered over Rs8.4 million and $63,000, along with 1,139 cards of account holders.

Published: 04-04-2017 07:47

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